From 1988 through Winter 2005, the ISHS Newsletter appeared as a separate section of the Society's journal, HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research. Its first two editors were Alleen Nilsen (Arizona State University), who served from 1988 through 2003, and Amy Carrell (University of Central Oklahoma), who served for 2004 and 2005.
In Fall 2005, Ralph Mueller (University of Fribourg) became the third editor of the ISHS Newsletter, and under his direction the ISHS Newsletter adopted a new name—The Humorous Times —and a new look. As an e-newsletter, The Humorous Times continues to report on international activities, but it also includes special features on humor research as well as squibs and short humorous writings. With the Fall 2012 Issue, The Humorous Times began to feature book reviews of recent publications in humor studies. The Humrous Times is currently produced through the Society's home base in Oakland, California.
ISHS members receive the ISHS newsletter electronically and can access it online here on the News page of the ISHS website. Current ISHS members can also access past ISHS Newsletters in the Newsletter Archive also found on this page. Click here for the Summer 2023 Issue of The Humorous Times.
ISHS has established Specialist Interest Groups to help with the sustainability of the Society and to ensure that the Society adequately reflects the interests of its members. Current SIGs can be found on the Specialist Interest Groups page.
Specialist Interest Groups are led by ISHS members, and are encouraged to run online events during the year and to put together panels or streams at annual ISHS conferences. Specialist Interest Groups provide ways for members to meet and connect with each other as well as to advance and raise the profiles of specific research areas within humor studies. We would like to afford all ISHS members the opportunity to create a Specialist Interest Group. To propose a Specialist Interest Group (SIG), you should submit a two-page Expression of Interest to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following details:
Specialist Interest Groups can focus on specific subject areas within humor studies such as philosophy, computer assisted humor, law, the public sphere, live performance, practice-as-research etc. Several opportunities do exist for Specialist Interest Groups within ISHS, as we are such a diverse and interdisciplinary society. Members can submit more than one Expression of Interest should they wish to do so, and the ISHS Executive Board will consider all submissions.
At the 2023 ISHS Conference in Boston, ISHS members expressed an interest to update the Society's logo. To provide all ISHS members with an opportunity to participate in a redesign of our logo, the ISHS Executive Board decided recently to launch a logo competition. To enter the competition, interested ISHS members can design and submit one or more logo entries. The designs must be original, reflective of the Society's nature, and suitable for an international audience. Each entry should further include the submitter's name and contact information along with their graphic design in a jpg or png file that does not exceed 1 MB in size. All entries should be e-mailed to the ISHS Executive Secretary at email@example.com by February 2, 2024. The ISHS Board will review all entries, and in November, current members will have an opportunity to vote on the Board approved submissions along with the current logo. The winning submission will become the Society's new logo on its stationary, website, and announcements, and the winning logo creator will receive a prize of $150.00.
Every two years, the International Society for Humor Studies holds an election for ISHS President and for two new Members-at-Large to the ISHS Executive Board. The new ISHS President will serve for two years, from January 1, 2024 to December 31, 2025, and will take over from Sharon Lockyer Brunel University, UK), who will continue on the ISHS Board as the immediate Past President. The new Members-at-Large will replace Jennifer Hofmann (University of Zurich, Switzerland) and Villy Tsakona (Kapodistrian University, Greece) and who have served on the ISHS Board since January 2020. The new Board Members will serve for four years from January 1, 2024 to December 31, 2027. Balloting for the 2023 Election opened on November 28 and closed on December 28, 2023. Liisi Laineste (Estonian Literary Museum, Estonia) was elected as 2024-25 ISHS President, and Julia Rayz (Purdue University, USA) and Simon Weaver (Brunel University, UK) were elected as Board Members-at-Large. We thank all of the candidates who participated in this election..
ISHS is pleased to announce the continuation of special members-only book
discounts from Mouton DeGruyter, Wayne State University Press, and John Benjamins.
We are also pleased to announce that Taylor and Francis will provide ISHS Members with
discounts on its humor research library. For 2024, ISHS members can receive sizable
discounts on books in Mouton deGruyter's Humor Research series as well as 20% discounts
on other books published by Mouton deGruyter. Members also receive 40% discounts on
books in Wayne State University's Humor in Life and Letters series, 30% to 50%
discounts on Humor Research books from John Benjamins, and 25% discounts on humor
research books from Taylor and Francis.
2023 ISHS members can contact the ISHS Executive Secretary to receive the Wayne State and Taylor and Francis promotion codes. You can visit the Books Resources page to see a selection of available books from these publishing houses
In 2006, Holy Names University in Oakland, California established
a special ISHS fund, so that the Society could receive contributions
to support and recognize graduate students and notable humor
researchers. Scholarships may be awarded to help a student
or scholar complete important humor research or to present
at one of our annual conferences. In 2012, the Society further
established the Don and Alleen Nilsen Young Scholars Award
to recognize notable student achievements at the Society's
Conferences. In 2018, the Society established the Christie
Davies Award to recognize notable graduate student and young
scholar work in the Social Sciences. An Awards Committee,
established by the ISHS Executive Board, currently determines
the number and the size of each award based on merit, need,
and the availability of funds. If you wish to contribute to
this scholarship fund you can make a donation with your 2024
The procedures for applying for these awards can be found in Working Rules appended to the ISHS Constitution.
Founding ISHS Members, Alleen and Don Nilsen, wrote for the Journal of the American
Humor Studies Association an article on their 25 years of
ISHS is pleased to provide this article online to our members
and others interested in humor studies. You can read the Nilsen's
story by clicking on this link for
In consultation with DeGruyter,
the International Society for Humor Studies is pleased to provide its members
with online access to the current issues of the Society's Newsletter and pre-2006
issues that also appeared in the Society's journal, HUMOR. For more information on our journal, please visit the
Journal pages on the ISHS or the Mouton DeGruyter websites.
The ISHS Newsletter Archive currently contains the Society's Newsletters from Winter 2000 (Volume 13, Issue 1) through the current issue. Click on Volume 36, Fall/Winter 2023, to read the current issue of The Humorous Times. Current members, to access earlier issues of the Newsletter, you must enter your 2022 or 2023 ISHS password.